Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Girls Are 5!

Since my girls were born, I have sworn that for their fifth birthday, I was going to go all out and throw a big party to celebrate the fact that my man and I made it through the first five years with twins. It was going to be a party for me! I mean, I'd have earned it by five years, right?!

The first two years of their lives were a blur of sleepless nights, double diapers, and living life with our toddler son who struggled almost constantly with stomach pain and reflux. There was great joy in those first two years. Vivian and Brooklyn were extremely laid back and flexible little babes. I was able to enjoy an extended nursing relationship with both of them and I bonded so deeply and easily with each of them. I enjoyed them very, very much. I would hold and rock them and tears would come to my eyes because I was so happy to have these girls. I could sit and stare at them for hours. I loved just sitting in the floor and watching them crawl and play and just generally be adorable.
First Birthday, V with headband over her eyes.

Then, they turned two. We walked through a very dark, very painful crisis in our extended family that began about a month before their birthday. I nearly lost my mind. I was depressed. My easy babes had turned into normal two year olds who were throwing fits and testing limits. In addition to these new behaviors, they began to feed off of one another. For example, I'd say no to one girl, and the other girl immediately did what I'd just told sister not to do. Then, I'd relive that scenario 100 times daily. And, the fighting. Oh, the fighting. In the midst of parenting toddler twins and a five year old,  I also had to cope with  years of painful memories and emotions that had been opened due to the above mentioned crisis. I prayed, I cried and I was basically too discombobulated to admit that I was depressed. 

Second birthday, B crying, V laughing.
Their third year was very similar to the second year. I was still struggling and I was drowning in toddler tantrums and mommy guilt. I walked around in a cloud of guilt believing this lie: I am a bad mother who has difficult children who are difficult because I am a horrible person who hates herself about 75% of the time. Is that a load of crap or what? Either way, it's where I was on the inside much of the time. 

Third birthday, V on right.

I have to say their fourth birthday was a vast improvement over the previous two. The girls definitely wore me out often that year, but I did not feel overwhelmed and snowed under as frequently. I also finally began to work through the mommy guilt that was entrapping me. It's a mercy that the Lord brought me to a better place during that time because we had our first foster son for six months, sold our old house, bought our new house and completely renovated our new house while living with family members or in a one bedroom apartment. Granted, we still struggled. But I began to see the guilt for what it is and see the lies for what they are. 

Fourth birthday

And now my girls are five. Five whole years old. Mothers of toddlers, I have an announcement to make: it gets easier. My girls are still full of energy and often rambunctious, but there has resurfaced this desire to please, a desire to help...or maybe it's a desire to avoid punishment. Either way, this stage is much more calm. I rarely feel overwhelmed which is a true miracle. I spent about two years feeling overwhelmed every single day when dealing with my girls. We all still have our moments, but overall life is more smooth. 
Fifth birthday, B on right. 

When their fifth birthday rolled around, it just didn't seem necessary to throw a party to celebrate the victory of making it five years with my girls. I just wanted the day to be about them. We had a party. It was small. The girls had a blast. I loved every minute. I took them to Purple Cow for dinner while my man kept the boys. Us three girls sat on the same side of the booth. We ate, we talked and we sat as close to one another as humanly possible. I watched them eating their chicken strips and mac and cheese. I smiled at the way they spooned each little bite of applesauce into their mouths. I mostly just loved them. Their birthday this year was not about the immense relief I feel at the thought of getting through these first five years with twins. It was about the fact that I got to do these first five years with them. Every smile, every tear, every middle of the night interruption...I was able to do all that. I am a blessed woman. And, I might even post a few pics of the partay that actually did happen and not the one I planned in my head.


  1. Shew. It's an amazing thing to sit and look at the journey all at once. Parenting. SO hard. SO good. I think it is the extremes that shock us so..or perhaps just me. Your girls are so precious! Five year olds are a delight!

    1. I loved the age of five with Gramm and I am looking forward to this stage with the girls too. You are right, so hard, but so good. :)

  2. Julie sent this to me. I enjoyed reading it and thanks so much for writing it and being so frank, Holly! God bless! Connie Newocme

  3. I was tearing up as I read this. I thought sure you would say that you were sad those days were gone and that Brooklyn and Vivian would never be little again. Anyway, I enjoyed reading your story. I am so glad you can have sweet times with your girls. They are so expressive and fun. May you continue to enjoy them and may the post on the next five years be just as impressive! Blessings to you dear lady and fellow MOT.